How Are Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Your doctor will review your medical history and do a physical exam. Other tests may include:
- Urinalysis. Lab testing of urine is done to check for various cells and chemicals, such as red and white blood cells, germs , or a lot of protein.
If UTIs become a repeated problem, other tests may be used to see if the urinary tract is normal. These tests may include:
- Intravenous pyelogram . This is a series of X-rays of the kidney, ureters , and bladder. It uses a contrast dye injected into a vein. This can be used to find tumors, structural abnormalities, kidney stones, or blockages. It also checks blood flow in the kidneys.
- Cystoscopy. In this test, a thin, flexible tube and viewing device is put in through the urethra to examine the bladder and other parts of the urinary tract. Structural changes or blockages, such as tumors or stones can be found.
- Kidney and bladder ultrasound. This imaging test uses high-frequency sound waves to make images of the bladder and the kidneys on a computer screen. The test is used to determine the size and shape of the bladder and the kidneys, and check for a mass, kidney stone, cysts, or other blockages or abnormalities.
How Long Do Marijuana Alcohol And Other Substances Stay In Urine
Urine drug testing is often performed to test the presence of illegal, mind-altering, or performance-enhancing substances in the urine of employees, athletes, or people on probation or parole. How long a substance can be detected in your urine can depend on a number of factors:
- The composition of the drug
- How frequently you use it
- How much you use/ingest
- Health condition of user
- Quality of urine drug test
A typical urine drug test can detect alcohol roughly 12 to 36 hours in urine after it is consumed, and more advanced urine tests can detect alcohol as long as three days after your last drink.
When To See Your Doctor About Smelly Urine
Though stinky pee alone may not always be cause for alarm, strange-smelling urine thats accompanied by other symptoms may be.
If youre also noticing cloudy or bloody urine, experience pain during urination, are peeing a lot more or less than usual, or have lower back or abdominal pain, make an appointment with your doctor, says Dr. Dune.
Just a few days of persistent symptoms warrants a visit, says OLeary. When in doubt, just get it checked out.
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How Do The Kidneys Become Infected
Acute kidney infections are typically caused by bacteria that has gotten into the urethra and traveled up through the bladder and ureters . Some medical conditions such as bladder dysfunction, bladder obstruction, neurogenic bladder or vesicoureteral reflux along with conditions that require the use of catheters can also increase the chances of kidney infection and damage.
What Causes A Kidney Infection
The bacteria or viruses that cause kidney infections usually come from another part of your urinary tract, such as your bladder, ureters or urethra and spread to your kidneys. Less commonly, the bacteria or viruses come from an infection elsewhere in your body.
Kidney infection can also happen if the flow of urine through your urinary tract is blocked. This can happen due to:
- An enlarged prostate
- A problem with the shape of your urinary tract that makes it harder for urine to pass through
A kidney infection is not contagiousyou cannot catch one from another person or spread a kidney infection if you have one.
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What Are The Causes Of Kidney Infections
Normally, bacteria are flushed out by the flow of urine. However, several problems can increase the risk of a kidney infection. These problems can include:
- Structural abnormalities blocking urine flow.
- An enlarged prostate gland compressing the urethra.
- Backflow of urine from the bladder to the kidneys.
- If your immune system is affected .
- Pregnancy, during which time the enlarging uterus can squeeze the ureters and reduce the flow of urine, allowing the bacteria to migrate to the kidneys.
- Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus.
What Are Dialysis And Hemodialysis
Dialysis cleanses the body of waste products in the body by use of filter systems. There are two types of dialysis, 1) hemodialysis and 2) peritoneal dialysis.
Hemodialysis uses a machine filter called a dialyzer or artificial kidney to remove excess water and salt, to balance the other electrolytes in the body, and to remove waste products of metabolism. Blood is removed from the body and flows through tubing into the machine, where it passes next to a filter membrane. A specialized chemical solution flows on the other side of the membrane. The dialysate is formulated to draw impurities from the blood through the filter membrane. Blood and dialysate never touch in the artificial kidney machine.
For this type of dialysis, access to the blood vessels needs to be surgically created so that large amounts of blood can flow into the machine and back to the body. Surgeons can build a fistula, a connection between a large artery and vein in the body, usually in the arm, that allows a large amount of blood to flow into the vein. This makes the vein swell or dilate, and its walls become thicker so that it can tolerate repeated needle sticks to attach tubing from the body to the machine. Since it takes many weeks or months for a fistula to mature enough to be used, significant planning is required if hemodialysis is to be considered as an option.
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How Is A Kidney Infection Diagnosis Confirmed
If youre feeling signs of a kidney infection, you should seek medical attention as soon as you can, if possible. A kidney infection can be serious because it can sometimes lead to a dangerous, life-threatening health condition called .
Even if your infection doesnt progress to that, a kidney infection can become chronic, i.e., long-lasting, and can cause permanent damage to your kidneys. Dr. Kaufman recommends heading to your local urgent care facility or emergency room if you have signs of a kidney infection.
For your doctor, diagnosing a kidney infection is pretty straightforward. They should start with lab tests like a urinalysis, which just involves peeing in a cup on your end. After you hand over your sample, the urine is examined under a microscope to check for the presence of bacteria and infection-fighting white blood cells. To see what kind of bacteria youre dealing with, the urine should also be cultured over the course of one to three days, according to the NIDDK. In some cases, your doc might also order imaging tests like a CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound to take a closer look at your kidneys.
Treatment Of Kidney Infection
Most kidney infections need prompt treatment with antibiotics to stop the infection damaging the kidneys or spreading to the bloodstream.
You may also need painkillers.
If you’re especially vulnerable to the effects of an infection , you may be admitted to hospital and treated with antibiotics through a drip.
Most people who are diagnosed and treated promptly with antibiotics feel completely better after about 2 weeks.
People who are older or have underlying conditions may take longer to recover.
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When To See A Doctor
Normal urine is a light yellow to golden color, and as long as your urine becomes lighter when you drink more fluids, you shouldnt have anything to worry about.
However, if you persistently pass dark urine or your urine turns another color other than various shades of yellow, you may need to see a doctor.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic recommend seeking medical care in the following circumstances:1
- You notice signs of blood in your urine that may or may not be accompanied by pain.
- You have symptoms of a urinary tract infection like passing cloudy dark urine.
- Your urine turns a deep amber or you pass orange urine, as this may be a sign of liver dysfunction.
- Dark colored urine is accompanied by nausea, fever, or cramping pain in your side or back.
What Urine Colors Are Abnormal
Paying attention to the color of urine can make you aware of your kidney health and alert you to the need for a medical checkup. Clear to yellow urine is normal and indicates normal kidney function, while odd colors such as orange or blue may be due to certain medications such as laxatives, antidepressants and antibiotics. But there are two colors that you must take seriously: red and dark brown.
Pink or red urine means red blood cells are present in urine. These colors may be a sign of infection, kidney stones or even cancer. Dark brown urine could mean you are extremely dehydrated, but if you drink plenty of fluid and the urine is still brown then you may have muscle breakdown, kidney disease or kidney failure.
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Imaging Tests For Kidney Infection
Its usually unnecessary to order imaging tests to diagnose a kidney infection, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Cases in which an imaging test may be helpful include:
- Your symptoms dont improve with treatment
- Your infection recurs
- Your doctor suspects a structural abnormality in your urinary tract
If your doctor believes that imaging tests are necessary, the following options are available:
Computerized Tomography Scan This test takes a series of X-ray images from different angles, which a computer combines to create detailed images of tissues in your body.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging This test uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create images of organs and tissues.
Ultrasound This test uses sound waves to create images of tissues. But since sound doesnt travel well through certain tissues, like bone, ultrasound has limitations.
Intravenous Pyelogram This test involves injecting a dye into your arm, then taking X-ray images of your urinary tract to look for signs of swelling or other abnormalities in your kidneys and bladder.
Voiding Cystourethrogram This test is similar to an intravenous pyelogram, and involves taking X-ray images of your bladder when its full and while youre urinating.
What If The Infection Does Not Clear Up With Treatment
Most infections clear up with treatment. However, if an infection does not clear up, or if you have repeated infections, you may be given some special tests such as:
a type of x-ray called an intravenous pyleogram , which involves injecting a dye into a vein and taking pictures of your kidney and bladder
an ultrasound exam, which gives a picture of your kidneys and bladder using sound waves
a cytoscopic exam, which uses a hollow tube with special lenses to look inside the bladder.
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What Causes Cloudy Urine
The most common cause of cloudy urine is the presence of alkaline. Urine is comprised of water, salts and waste from the kidneys and the balance of these components affects the alkaline or acidity in urine. Normal urine acidic-to-alkaline levels range from 4.5 to 8 pH. Urine that is under 5 pH is considered acidic, with urine measuring at 8 pH or higher is alkaline . High alkaline causes cloudy urine.
Other possible causes for cloudy urine include:
If you experience repetitive, cloudy or discolored urine, or have any symptoms like headache, blurry vision, abdominal pain or swelling, visit your healthcare provider for further examination.
What To Expect From Kidney Infection Treatment
A kidney infection is easy to treat if its caught in its earliest stage, especially if youre young and generally healthy. In this case, a course of antibiotics lasting a week to two weeks is usually enough, Dr. Movassaghi says. However, taking the full course of antibiotics is key for fully fighting off the infection, even if youre feeling totally fine halfway through, so be sure to take every dose, says the NIDDK.
If you have a severe kidney infection or are immunocompromised, youll likely need to be treated in the hospital with intravenous antibiotics. After a few days, you should be able to move on to taking antibiotics by mouth.
In rare cases, a person might need surgery for a kidney infection. Usually, this is only considered if your doctor determines theres something blocking your urinary tract like a kidney stone or an enlarged prostate.
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Should I Tell My Doctor About Changes In Urine Color Or Odor
You should always contact your doctor if you have any concerns about changes in your urine or if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
Warning signs might include an abnormal color that has no explanation, or any sign of blood in urine. Also seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing a fever, burning sensation while urinating, chills, or back pain.
Your doctor may want to conduct a urinalysis, urine culture, or other tests that can help pinpoint what is causing the changes in your urine. These might include a blood test, ultrasounds, or cystoscopy.
How Does Lupus Affect The Kidneys
Your kidneys filter waste and extra water out of your blood to make urine . They also help control your blood pressure and keep the right balance of salts, acids, and minerals in your blood.
Lupus can cause a kidney disease called lupus nephritis. Lupus nephritis is inflammation in the kidneys that can make them stop working. When the kidneys arent working well, waste builds up in the blood and extra water builds up in the body.
Lupus nephritis is most common in people ages 20 to 40. It usually starts within 5 years of your first lupus symptoms.
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Key Points About Urinary Tract Infections
- Urinary tract infections are a common health problem that affects millions of people each year. These infections can affect any part of the urinary tract.
- Most UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria, which normally live in the colon.
- The most common symptoms of UTIs include changes in urination such as frequency, pain, or burning urine looks dark, cloudy, or red and smells bad back or side pain nausea/vomiting and fever.
- Antibiotics are used to treat UTIs. Other treatments may include pain relievers, and drinking plenty of water to help wash bacteria out of the urinary tract.
- Other things that can be done may help reduce the likelihood of developing UTIs.
What Is Kidney Infection
Infection in the urinary tract can involve the lower tract especially the bladder , prostate or the upper tract and kidney . It is usually a bacterial infection. The disease occurs in roughly three to seven of every 10,000 people in the United States. The occurrence in pregnant women is about 2 percent. It is readily treatable if diagnosed early.
A bacteria called Escherichia Coli causes about 90 percent of kidney infections. The bacteria migrate from the genitals through the urethra into the bladder and up the tubes that connect the bladder to the kidneys.
Some bacteria, such as staphylococcus infections, can enter the kidneys from the bloodstream.
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The Color Of Healthy Urine
Healthy urine looks like a light pale straw-colored liquid to a golden color. The typical yellow color of urine comes from a pigment found in urine. Differences in the shades of yellow range from very light yellow to amber depending on the concentration of urochrome.
According to doctors from the Mayo Clinic, there is a lot you can tell about your health from the color of urine. For example, dark yellow urine may be an indicator that you are not drinking enough fluids. However, if you are drinking too much water or have an electrolyte imbalance, you can have a clear or transparent urine that looks like water.1
Very often, your first pee in the morning will produce urine that is darker than normal because it is more concentrated. This type of dark, gold-colored urine in the morning is usually perfectly normal. This is especially true if your urine throughout the day is pale yellow.
Fatigue Being Tired All Of The Time
Why this happens:
Healthy kidneys make a hormone called erythropoietin , or EPO, that tells your body to make oxygen-carrying red blood cells. As the kidneys fail, they make less EPO. With fewer red blood cells to carry oxygen, your muscles and brain tire very quickly. This is anemia, and it can be treated.
What patients said:
I was constantly exhausted and didnt have any pep or anything.
I would sleep a lot. Id come home from work and get right in that bed.
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Side Effect Of Medication Can Cause Dark Brown Urine
Some drugs and multivitamins can turn your urine dark because of how they interact with compounds in your pee.
For example, according to urologist Dr. Bradley C. Gill, dark-colored urine is sometimes the result of regularly taking multivitamins. These can cause your pee to become darker than normal because of pigments in the supplements.4
Research published in the Postgraduate Medical Journal reports that some antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can turn pee various dark colors. For example, some antibacterial drugs for parasite infections can turn urine dark brown. Other antibiotics can make urine appear dark orange and foamy. Or, dark green pee can result from certain drugs.5